After I wash my shirts a few times, the ink starts to come off.

After I wash my shirts a few times, the ink starts to come off.

Wicked_poster_step6This means that you have not cured your garment correctly. Plastisol inks need to be heated to a pre-determined temperature for a certain duration of time, usually somewhere between 45-60 seconds. This would be to either to flash dry or to use a conveyor dryer. Different inks, or special garments may need their timing fine tuned. The temperature and times will vary some job to job, so always do a wash test. A great way to test to see if the ink is cured or not is to pull on the t-shirt. If the ink sticks together like plastic or rubber, then it is cured. However if it cracks and you can see the t-shirt under it, you need to increase your curing time. via Wicked Printing Stuff, your home for screen printing equipment and supplies – FAQs.

Wicked Printing Stuff, Product Safety Sheets

When using products PLEASE check the safety sheets, here is the link.

Wicked Printing Stuff, your home for screen printing equipment and supplies – Links.

Here you will find a link to all of our product data safety sheets for our inks and solvents that we supply. Please make time to read this and familiarise yourself with the information contained within these documents before you use the products.

Barrier Clear –  Product Data Safety Sheet

Capillary Film – Product Data Safety Sheet

Catalysed Hardeners – Product Data Safety Sheet

Catalysed Inks – Product Data Safety Sheet

Cotton White – Product Data Safety Sheet

Curable Reducer – Product Data Safety Sheet

Mixe Mixopake Ink – Product Data Safety Sheet

Pade Maxopake Ink – Product Data Safety Sheet

Diamond White – Product Data Safety Sheet

Gloss Vinyl Inks – Product Data Safety Sheet

Gloss Vinyl Thinner – Product Data Safety Sheet

Gold Shimmer – Product Data Safety Sheet

Haze Paste Remover – Product Data Safety Sheet

Hi Tak Spray – Product Data Safety Sheet

Matt Vinyl Ink – Product Data Safety Sheet

Matt Vinyl Thinner – Product Data Safety Sheet

Mercury Gloss Ink – Product Data Safety Sheet

Nylobond additive – Product Data Safety Sheet

Nylonbag  Polycure catalyst – Product Data Safety Sheet

Nylonbag Ink – Product Data Safety Sheet

Nylonbag Thinners – Product Data Safety Sheet

Process Colours – Product Data Safety Sheet

Puff Additive – Product Data Safety Sheet

Catalysed Thinner – Product Data Safety Sheet

R55 Thinner – Product Data Safety Sheet

R56 Thinner – Product Data Safety Sheet

Roll On Platen Adhesive – Product Data Safety Sheet

Satin Jet Inks – Product Data Safety Sheet

Screen Filler Blue – Product Data Safety Sheet

Screen Filler Red – Product Data Safety Sheet

Screen Wash High Strength – Product Data Safety Sheet

Silver Glitter – Product Data Safety Sheet

Spot Cleaner- Product Data Safety Sheet

Stencil Strip – Product Data Safety Sheet

Suede Additive – Product Data Safety Sheet

Ulano Dual Cure Emulsion – Product Data Safety Sheet

Ulano Water Resistant Emulsion- Product Data Safety Sheet

Waterbased Ink Catalyst – Product Data Safety Sheet

Waterbased Ink Retarder – Product Data Safety Sheet

Waterbased Ink – Product Data Safety Sheet

Dummies Guide to Screen Printing | Wicked Printing Stuff

Dummies Guide to Screen Printing We talk to a lot of people who want to start screen printing but are not quite sure of the process and what’s really involved. So we thought we would write a high level process overview, to give you a little insight into how to get started. If you are a hobbyist, artist or commercial printer, the processes are pretty similar. We are going to work through the process of taking a blank garment to producing a garment with a printed logo………………..more details

via Dummies Guide to Screen Printing | Wicked Printing Stuff.

Proper cleaning preserves your screens Part 5

Screen cleaning&reclaim

The exorcist – how to get rid of ghosting on your screens

When you have finished your screen print run there are a number of next steps.

If you plan to use the design again then you need to wash the screen down. This will remove the ink from the screen but leave the exposed image. If your ink is water based a simple hose down is sufficient but a solvent ink will need screen wash. Make sure to use the right process for the ink involved.

‘Reclaiming’ is the act of striping the stencil from your screen in order to create a new stencil and start the printing process over again. If you are not going to print a design any more it’s time to reclaim your screen so that you can use them for something new.

Remove all tape from the mesh. Apply stencil strip with a cloth to both sides of the screen. Using a power washer to clean the screen thoroughly on both sides. Your screen is ready for reuse.

If there is still an image left on the screen this is called ‘ghosting’, this is an example of a screen with ghosting.

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If there is any ghosting of the screen you can use a ghost remover / haze paste to remove them.

Haze Paste remover is a great solution if you have any ghosting left on your screen which is common when using waterbased inks as they dye the mesh.  Our range includes the premium MacDermid Autohaze will deals with the most stubborn stains.

The finished  screen after using this product  Haze Paste..

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Screen printing training

Do you need basic screen printing training?

WPS are pleased to offer a range of screen printing training courses to suit your needs at an affordable price. Whether you are an absolute beginner and just want to know the basics or maybe struggling to print that multi colour complex job, wps have developed a number of courses, events and workshops to help you get the most out of screen printing.

Our courses can be tailor made to suit your specific needs, if you cannot find what you are looking for please contact us and we would be happy to design a package for you.

Problems with Ghosting

Have you got trouble with ghosting?

Does your screen look like this?

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David Hand had an old screen and was so impressed with the results he sent before and after pictures. He told us “Hi. I just wanted to say the products I used to reclaim this screen were excellent. That pattern had been on there for six/seven years. Great stuff!

This is the photo he sent us of the finished results

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Haze Paste remover is a great solution if you have any ghosting left on your screen which is common when using waterbased inks as they dye the mesh.  Our range includes the premium MacDermid Autohaze will deals with the most stubborn stains. There is a reason why we select our products because we want you to get the same kind of results. We have been very impressed by this product which is why we are authorised distributors.  Haze Paste. on the Wicked Print Stuff website

Creating a screen using traditional exposure methods

Where does exposure fit in the screen printing process?

What emulsion should I use?

How long can I keep emulsion?

How do you get rid of pin holes?

How long should I dry my screen?

Main banner

Let’s go back to basics. Screen printing is also a stencil method of print making in which a design is imposed on a screen of polyester or other fine mesh, with blank areas coated with an impermeable substance, and ink is forced into the mesh openings of the mesh by the fill blade or squeegee and onto the printing surface during the squeegee stroke.

Emulsion is the means of making impermeable substance. Light sensitive, thick liquid which coats the screen. When the screen is exposed the emulsion hardens and unexposed areas drop out to leave the stencil.

So you have your positive artwork

Making Your Artwork Positive.

Making Your Artwork Positive.

Now this process is one of the most tricky in screen printing and needs to be done thoroughly and carefully. Never skip on any step especially drying.

The first step is to degrease your screen

It is very important to degrease the screen prior to coating the screen with emulsion and exposing the artwork. A screen that is not degreased will have problems exposing and increase the chance of pinholes, the emulsion will not adhere to the screen properly and might washout before the image can be seen. The emulsion could also not wash out at all. Make sure you let it dry thoroughly before you coat it with emulsion.

Choosing your emulsion

There are many emulsions on the market and every printer will have their preferred type and brand. Some emulsions come pre sensitised and ready for use and some will need mixing. Our emulsion is a 2 part emulsion, its comes with sensitizer.

Shelf life is different depending on when the sensitizer is added . Separately both parts can last from 12-24 months. Once mixed the emulsion lasts 6-8 weeks (its life can be prolonged slightly if it is stored in a cold place, like the fridge).
Always make sure you have chosen the right emulsion if you are using Plastisol inks / Solvent inks you need a Solvent resistant emulsion like Ulano Proclaim or if you are using Waterbased inks you need a water resistant emulsion like Ulano 925wr. We also sell Autosol emulsion, which is a good dual purpose emulsion, it can be used with both waterbased and solvent inks.

Location

Make sure you are doing all parts of the emulsion and exposure process in a light safe environment with NO outside or bright light. This includes mixing your emulsion, coating your screens, drying screens, exposure, and washout (as soon as screen is exposed as long as you wash it out straight away this is not a problem)..

A costing trough is the best way to get an even coverage of emulsion. Always check to make sure the coating trough has a straight edge and no damage otherwise you will get poor coverage and you can snag the mesh.

Here are a few things to watch out for if your images are not washing out correctly:
That you are not coating your emulsion too thick. One coat both sides should do it, with a nice even spread. There are sometimes where you may need some extra coats e.g. printing transfers and printing white onto a dark garment but you will need to adjust the exposure time.

Coating Your Screen

Coating Your Screen

That your film positive is very opaque and dark. If you hold it up to a light and can see through it, you need to double print your film to achieve a more opaque image.
That there is positive contact between your screen mesh and your positive film. If the film is not pressed completely against your mesh then you will get light reflection between your positive and your screen which will result in a blurry and not clear image. That’s why the glass is so important.
That you are exposing your screen for the correct amount of time, which will depend on the exposure system you are using. If you are unclear on exposure times please feel free to ask us. The simple run of thumb is – if the emulsions washes off too easily and you start to lose the stencil then the screen is underexposed and if after prolonged washing the stencil does not come through they you are likely to have overexposed the screen.
After you coat your screen, you want it to be COMPLETELY dry  before you expose the screen.

Exposing the image

Exposing Your Screen

Exposing Your Screen

To transfer your image onto your screen you will need to use an exposure unit. There are many different exposure unit set ups on the market and each has a different light source. Each having different light sources. UV, halide and halogen are very popular in the UK. Our Wicked exposure lamp has a 1000 watt halogen light source and is provided will all waterbased and Plastisol kits.

We also sell Actinic and Metal Halide exposure units which are able to expose quicker (typical exposure time is 2 minutes for an Actinic unit and 16 minutes for the lamp depending on size of the screen) than the cheaper lamp solution. Some units include built in drying cabinets making the whole process a lot faster.

A very large part of your decision if you are new to screen printing will be your budget and space. Exposure units vary dramatically in price. The WPS Lamp is small and compact,

After exposing and rinsing out your exposure, you want your screen to thoroughly dry (and ideally harden your screen, by exposing it to the sun or your exposure unit) before inking and printing. This process is often called double baking.

Before inking you need to use blocking tape (can use brown tape or professional blocking tape) to cover up areas on the screen not covered by the emulsion. Also fix any pinholes either using blocking tape or using screen filler which is a liquid emulsion, make sure you choose the right one as there are different versions for solvent and water resistant stencils.

Now you are ready to print

Registering Your Print

Registering Your Print

When you get bigger there are other options like the Revolutionary Riso QS200 Designed for the Professional Printer which prints directly from your computer onto a screen. Then the whole process takes under 5 minutes!

The Ink is not giving a 100% coverage over my print?

The Ink is not giving a 100% coverage over my print?

Wicked_poster_step5

Check that you have the proper off contact for the job at hand and that the screen is parallel to the platen. Typically you want your screen to be about 2 pennies or an eighth of an inch off your application.

If that is ok, assess the squeegee you are using – is it too soft for the ink type and mesh count too high?

Plus always remember to flood the image before you print.

via Wicked Printing Stuff, your home for screen printing equipment and supplies – FAQs.

The Cure

Heat curing equipment_2

When do you need heat/drying in the screen printing process?

•    Drying emulsion before exposure
•    Drying your screen after washing off the emulsion
•    Touch drying after printing
•    Drying between colours
•    Fixing ink to fabric, The Cure

N.B. For printing posters and paper type flat work, you would use poster ink which is also an air dry ink. Either of the two textile inks may be used for screen printing shirts but the poster ink is used only for flat work and graphics printed on porous or glossy paper materials.

Drying emulsion before exposure

Screen drying cabinet or overnight, must be dust free and dark environment

Drying your screen after washing off the emulsion

You can blowdry it, or wave it in the air outside, or just let it air dry, but you should let it dry before making prints.

Touch drying after printing

Flash dryer, hand curer or heat gun

Drying between colours

Flash dryer, hand curer or heat gun

How hot does The Cure have to be and how long does it take?

Once you have finished your print, you will need to fully cure your garment. Simply drying the print does not mean that your garment is machine washable. In other words – The print will come out in the wash! The temperature must get hot enough to firstly evaporate the waterbased medium, then set the pigments.

This is a guide only
150F [66°C] Water begins to leave the ink
200F [94°C] Binder reaches lowest viscosity and maximum surface contact is made with the fabric
220F [105°C] Water begins to leave the ink rapidly
270F [133°C] Fifty percent of the water is gone and the binder and pigment start to cure
300F [150°C] Most of the water is gone and the binder-pigment combination is partially cured
300F [150°C] [for 30 seconds to a minute] Binder and pigment is cured

If you have used water-based ink:

Although waterbased ink dries to air, it takes a high temperature to cure water-based inks. You can cure the ink at 165°C (some are hotter) by using a flash dryer, tunnel dryer or heat press.  It can take up to 2 minutes to cure waterbased inks.  If you mix a catalyst with the ink you can cure the ink with a heat gun – but remember only really suitable for cold washes.

WPS waterbased inks need to be cured at 165 degrees or above.  To cure your inks, you have a number of options. You can use a flash dryer, hand curer, heat press or tunnel conveyor dryer for this.  If you are using a WICKED PRINTING STUFF flash dryer to cure your print, we recommend you measure the temperature of your print with a digital laser thermometer until it reaches the required temperature. Remember that it is important that the entire ink film thickness reach the specified cure/fusion temperature. Depending on the nature of your fabric it is recommended that you break this up into intervals of approximately 10-15 seconds and repeat 3-5 times as most garments cannot withstand such continuous heat in one go. If you are a busy printer, you will find that a conveyor tunnel dryer is a much quicker, more efficient and reliable way of curing prints.

If you have used Plastisol or other solvent-based ink:

In between the application of the different colours of your design you can use a heat gun to flash dry but to fully cure you should use a tunnel dryer, flash dryer or heat press.  The ink needs to get to 150°C for typically 60 seconds.  Glitter, reflective and white ink can sometimes take longer.
If you are printing more than one coat of ink for the same image, or printing a multi-colour image, you will need to flash cure your ink by using a flash dryer, hand curer or heat gun between each print. Flashing enables you to print one coat of ink on top of another – e.g., a color on a white base. You also might flash an ink to keep wet ink off the back of your screens. Some inks, such as glitters, metallics and high densities, are not designed to be printed “wet-on wet”. They should be “flashed” when printing in sequence. Once your print is dry to the touch you can apply your second coat or next colour.  Most inks will “gel” (flash) when the ink film reaches 220°F to 230°F (104°C to 110°C). There are 3 factors that affect the “gel” or “flash” of the ink: the temperature of the flash, the distance of the flash from the printed image, and the time the printed image is exposed to the heat. As a rule, you want to flash the ink film until it is just “dry to the touch”. Over-flashing inks can cause inter-coat adhesion problems and make the inks very “tacky”. Check your flash cure unit to see if it has temperature and airflow controls. These can help you better control your flash cure process.

 

All Plastisol inks will not air dry and will therefore need to be dried by heat equipment. Plastisol inks will also need to be fully cured at 150 (or above) degrees, which is drying them to the correct temperature and length of time (typically 60 seconds), in order for the ink to not come off in the wash. A flash dryer will dry and cure the inks in 60 seconds and for longer print runs or larger set ups, a tunnel dryer is recommended.

Drying Options

Iron, Hot Air Gun, Flash Dryer, Hand Curer, Heat press, Tunnel Dryer,

Unsuitable methods
Sun or outside clothes line – Can not be used as temperature is not hot enough.
Household clothes dryer – Can not be used as temperature is not hot enough.
Hand held hair drier – Can not be used as temperature is not hot enough.
Commercial Dryer (Laundromat) – Not a recommended method as temperature is not accurate and time limit can vary greatly on garment type. Garments left in too long may shrink or be damaged.

Comparing Curing Technologies

Curing Technologies

Tunnel Dryers


We manufacture the most comprehensive range of tunnel dryers in Europe ranging from the brilliant ‘Mini dryer’ to the top of the range dryers. The Mini Tunnel Dryer is ideal for the smaller workshop using a tabletop or small standalone carousel up to the top of the range WPS Panther Dryers which are ideal for screen printers with automatic presses or digital printers.

 

Choosing a tunnel dryer

Choosing a tunnel dryer

Panther Tunnel Dryer Comparison Chart

Panther Tunnel Dryer Comparison Chart